August 2023 - East Cheshire Hospice

Louise Troyano is cooking up something special.

Her late husband starred in The Great British Bake Off – now Louise Troyano is cooking up something special.

The art worker is going on a trek in Iceland organised by East Cheshire Hospice.

The three-day trip in November 2024 coincides with what would have been the couple’s 19th wedding anniversary.

Luis and Louise on their wedding day in 2005.

Louise said: “I’m doing something that creates a new memory of that day. I always try to do something new on the days you’re supposed to be sad on.”

She has happy memories of how husband Luis was treated at the Hospice where he spent several weeks in the autumn of 2020.

The graphic designer died of oesophageal cancer aged 49, five years after he finished runner-up in the hit BBC show presented by Mel Giedroyc and Sue Perkins.

Luis on The Great British Bake Off.

Judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood were dazzled by Luis’ delicious chocolate mousse and tropical Manchester tart.

Louise said: “Luis was excited to be on a show he watched religiously. He was the star baker for bread week and was good at making bread. To be fair, he was good at everything.

“He did all the cooking at home and made birthday cakes for everyone. Since he died, I’ve had to learn to cook for myself.

“He left me a note and one of the things he told me was to travel. We went on lots of holidays and Iceland is on my bucket list.

The Troyanos on holiday.

“When the Hospice trip popped up, I thought it’s ticking that box and helping the Hospice.”

“Luis died in October 2020 during Covid when we had to wear masks so it was weird. The Hospice staff were lovely, but I can’t remember all the names of the nurses now.

“It’s really sad and I feel bad because I probably wouldn’t be able to recognise them because they needed to be in masks.

“The staff were great. All of them. They were really nice and I knew the late chaplain Margaret, who was wonderful.”

Luis and Louise on their travels.

Louise is preparing for her Iceland adventure by carrying a rucksack full of recipe books.

She said: “I love walking and will need to carry water so am getting used to the weight.”

She works at the advertising agency McCann Manchester and in the admissions hut at Lyme Park entrance.

Louise and McCann colleagues are organising a bake off in Luis’ memory raising funds for the Hospice.

* To sponsor her visit

Do you fancy visiting the edge of the Arctic circle?

Do you fancy visiting the edge of the Arctic circle?

East Cheshire Hospice still has a few places left on its Iceland adventure between November 13-18 next year.

The three-day trek is graded moderate to challenging with walkers covering an average of 12 kilometres a day over varying terrain.

The journey ends with a chance to explore Reykjavik, the world’s most northern capital.

The hike visits active volcanoes and lava fields, bubbling mud pools and hot springs.

The natural wonders of Iceland.

Walkers will also travel along the fault lines between Europe and America, with a chance of seeing the Northern Lights.

Three open evenings at the Hospice on Tuesdays Sept 12 and 19 and Monday, Sept 25 (all at 7 pm) will be a chance to learn more details.

People can attend one of the sessions without booking or email for more information.

Hospice Community and Events Assistant Nik Kalka said: “Iceland is known as the ‘Land of Fire and Ice’ because of its breathtaking natural landscapes.

Fundraiser Nik Kalka.

“It’s the trip of a lifetime and at the same time it’s a great way for walkers to support the Hospice.”

The entry deadline is November. A full breakdown of costs and fundraising, as well as testimonials from previous trek participants, will be given at the open evenings.

To find out more about the Iceland trip visit or contact the fundraising team on 01625 433477.

Prestbury Golf Day success 2023

A golf day went with such a swing that a record amount was raised for East Cheshire Hospice.

The long-standing event at Prestbury Golf Club raised £15,135, a 50 per cent increase on the previous best in 2022.

The winning Allmand-Smith team. From left, Adam, Martin, Jacqueline and William.

The Allmand-Smith team came out on top, with Martin, wife Jacqueline and sons Adam and William collecting an impressive 92 points to take home the Mactex Trophy.

They were among 22 teams enjoying the refurbished Prestbury course where redesigned bunkers and major earth works have brought the course up to modern standards.

The event has been running for 35 years and is the flagship competition on Prestbury’s charity golf calendar.

The Holmes Naden team. From left, Paul Garrity, Rob Thorneycroft, Edward Naden and Mike Taylor. 

It was again organised by John Davies, Director of Mactex Properties Ltd, and ex-golf professional Nigel Preston, from Interflex.

John, who was involved in the first tournament, said: “We’d like to thank everyone for their generous support yet again.

“Our main sponsors estate agents Holmes Naden were superb, with numerous businesses and volunteers also involved, including Amanda Cross from Sphere UK, Victoria Devon and Claire Gorton, Carley Macey and Nik Kalka from the Hospice.

Organisers, volunteers and Hospice staff. From left, Nik Kalka, Nigel Preston, Carley Macey, Claire Gorton, Vicky Devon, Paul Bianchi, Mandy Cross and John Davies.

“Once again Prestbury were wonderful hosts and it was a pleasure to be among the first to play their new-look course.

“It’s fantastic we raised enough to cover the Hospice’s running costs for two days.

“That means supporting local people with end-of-life care, their families and carers both at home and in the Hospice.”

East Cheshire Hospice goes for Britain in Bloom

Judges have been casting their expert eye over the gardens at East Cheshire Hospice for the Britain in Bloom awards.

The Hospice is hoping to win the hospice category at the RHS regional awards with the results announced next month.

Gardening enthusiasts have been hard at work creating a floral wonderland for patients and visitors after businesses answered a plea for help.

Volunteers from corporate supporters Leap 29 and Barclays helped dig and prepare the grounds before planting took place.

 Michelle Walker-Brown from the Hospice with Ryan Simpson (left) from Viridis Plants and David Hadley from Creative Gardens and Driveways

Bramhall-based Creative Gardens and Driveways, owned by David Hadley, organised a £1,000 plant donation from supplier Viridis Plants for the makeover.

David ensured expert horticultural advice was given. He said: “When I heard the appeal, I knew immediately that we had to help.

“Plants play such an uplifting role in our lives and it was clear the hospice recognised the comfort that spending time among nature brings patients and their families.

“It was an honour to help a local organisation in need.”

Volunteer Hospice gardeners played a key role in activities overseen by Michelle Walker-Brown, the charity’s general services manager.

Michelle said: “It has been a real team effort and we’re so grateful for all the help. Having peaceful and beautiful plants in the Hospice grounds makes a genuine difference to families.

Flower power…another donation arrives at East Cheshire Hospice.

“The community spirit is amazing, showing once more just how much the public and business care about our patients.”

Judges toured the revamped Hospice grounds, which include a sensory garden, vegetable and herb patch and a memory garden.

The Hospice’s green credentials have already earned a business award with sustainability at the heart of each outdoor area. For example …

* Water butts reduce reliance on mains supplies.

* Empty laundry liquid tubs were cleaned to grow strawberries and salad vegetables for patient menus.

* Baked bean and plum tomato tins gave new life to house plants.

* Old tyres from Hospice @Home cars were turned into planters, along with wooden pallets.

Wildflowers planted around the hospice grounds attract bees and butterflies.

Daffodils, tulips, crocus, hyacinth and snowdrop bulbs bloom each year around the grounds and in pots. Small Christmas trees replanted in a nursery area will be re-potted in internal gardens outside patient rooms and wards.

The Hospice was part of the gold award won by Macclesfield at the 2022 awards and is going for more glory after learning there is a hospice category this year.

Kevin Sinfield OBE has backed East Cheshire Hospice’s latest venture

Prolific fundraiser Kevin Sinfield OBE has backed East Cheshire Hospice’s latest venture.

The former Rugby League star sent a goodwill video message to fundraisers at an inaugural event to raise awareness of motor neurone disease.

The special MND day at Macclesfield Rugby Club raised almost £4,000, with proceeds shared between the MND Association and the Hospice.

Walkers take part in a wheel challenge

Supporters completed laps of the car park on wheels, an idea inspired by carer Jan Gates and implemented by Hospice senior physiotherapist Natalie Nye who organised the pilot event along with colleague Jill Harding.

Jan, whose husband Mike has MND, attends popular monthly support meetings which have been at the Hospice since 2017 and are led by a team of health professionals from there.

Jill, a health care assistant, said: “Considering the progressive  nature of the disease, those who attend our MND Wellbeing Days are the most upbeat positive people you could ever wish to meet and they’ll usually find a reason to laugh about something during the session.

“They’re a unique group of people and I can’t pay them a big enough compliment.”

Patients and carers are invited to attend the monthly Wellbeing sessions where a topic is discussed each time.

Subjects range from managing fatigue, advice about sleep and relaxation, advanced care planning, aids to communication and travel help.

The inaugural motor neurone day was a huge success.

Carers access peer support in a separate room and both patients and their carer can enjoy a relaxing complementary therapy during the sessions which are supported by volunteers including trained visitors from the MND Association.

Jill said: “It was about raising awareness of MND in collaboration with the Hospice. We couldn’t hold it there because of ongoing refurbishment work at the Sunflower Wellbeing Centre and Jan had the idea of patients and relatives doing laps using wheels as a mode of transport.

“We had wheelchairs, wheelbarrows, scooters and bikes and everyone joined in the spirit of the occasion for two great causes. The rugby club were brilliant hosts and we plan to make it an even bigger event next year.”

Natalie and Jill dressed as sunflowers to represent the Hospice emblem and volunteered for an ice bucket challenge in lieu of a minimum £50 charity donation. Prizes were donated and cake sales boosted the fundraising total.

MND Day’s poignant and emotional moment

The sound of a drum provided a poignant and emotional moment at the MND Day at Macclesfield Rugby Club.

Proud Sophie Usher banged the drum nine times in memory of her father Richard, a much-loved Macclesfield GP who died from motor neurone disease 18 months ago.

The number of hits honoured the No 9 shirt worn by Richard, a player for the club.

Organisers Jill Harding (left ) and Natalie Nye with Joel Millett (left) and Allan Nicholles.

Sophie’s symbolic act replicated Kevin Sinfield who became known for ‘banging the drum’ about the need to research MND.

At fundraising events Sinfield hits the drum seven times, signifying the shirt number worn by his close friend and former Leeds Rhinos team-mate Rob Burrow MBE, whose story about dealing with the debilitating disease has touched the nation.

The late Doddie Weir, another ex-rugby player, raised awareness about the illness before Sinfield took up the cause, completing several ultra sporting challenges to raise millions of pounds for MND research.

Jill Harding shows 18-month old Henry the route.

Jill Harding, co-organiser of the Macclesfield event, said: “Kevin Sinfield said he would have come along but for his coaching commitments with England Rugby Union on the day of the event.

“Sophie helped with social media and was one of many volunteers who helped make it such a memorable day.”

There is still time to donate, with proceeds shared between the MND Association and East Cheshire Hospice.

The JustGiving page for the MND Association linked to the event is still open and can be found at

Sophie Usher drumming up support.   

The Cinema Show performance is back for 2023

Revisit the 1980s during a night of nostalgia at MADS Theatre in aid of East Cheshire Hospice.

The decade’s iconic moments feature in a unique live music and film show staged by The Cinema Show on Saturday, October 14, at 7.30 pm.

Stand by for tributes to Live Aid, MTV and the dawn of the mobile phone age during ‘Living in the 80s.’

Fashion, sport, video games and the end of the cold war also feature.

The electronic group blend sound and film archives – shown on an old-style cinema screen – with music to create an original twist on the decade.

The Cinema Show performing.

Founder Doug Skelton said: “The 80s were an eclectic mix of music and our aim is to appeal to all different tastes with something for everyone.

“We want to create a party atmosphere and acknowledge some of the more emotive songs from a fascinating decade.”

Doug plays guitar and keyboard, with uncle Dave Skelton on drums and Beth Moss on piano and synths. Doug’s older sister Jacqui handles live sound arrangements for the show.

The group will release an album of their latest work, entitled ‘Superpower Games’, to coincide with the performance.

A blast from the past … 80s style.

The event is sponsored by Intersafety, a local family-run business, to mark the company’s 21st anniversary.

The Macclesfield-based company distributes personal protective equipment, clothing and workplace safety products.

Doug, head of digital marketing, said: “We’re aiming to raise £5,000 for the Hospice which is a superb cause. Everyone knows about the charity and its wonderful work in the community.

“It’s an ambitious target, but with the support of the public and our customers and suppliers we’re hoping to turn it into one of Macclesfield’s biggest music events this year.

“We performed at MADS last year and this show has since been refreshed and updated with energy and colour.

Dave Skelton and Doug Skelton.

“It’ll be a nostalgic audio-visual trip down memory lane for many and will hopefully have widespread appeal to a certain generation.

“We mix historical samples and commentary with modern music to create our songs. Related film archives and footage form the stage backdrop.

“Our family have connections to the Hospice with two family members patients there.”

The Cinema Show raised more than £1,700 for the Hospice from last year’s show.

* To buy tickets priced £9 (£5 for under-15s)  visit

Ariadne Software becomes 500 Club member

Professional photographer Roy Doorbar enjoyed capturing memories for others.

Now his family are making sure he is never forgotten by supporting East Cheshire Hospice where he spent his final days.

Daughter-in-law Jill Sherratt has signed up for the charity’s 500 club through her business Ariadne Software.

Roy, who set up the guild of photographers, died from pancreatic cancer in October 2016, aged 81.

Jill said: “Roy was a well-known photographer and loved taking pictures. He covered lots of weddings and took portraits.

Jill Sherratt and son Jack collecting the 500 club membership at East Cheshire Hospice.

“During his illness he choose to die in the Hospice rather than at home to make things easier for my mother-in-law Josie.

“I’d not heard of the 500 club before. Members pledge to raise £500 a year and it’s a great idea to make sure that in the future other families enjoy the same support we had.

“The Hospice needs donations, especially with energy bills rising during a cost of living crisis.

“They were lovely with us and supported the whole family, not just Roy. They made something incredibly difficult as comfortable as possible.

“We’ve donated to the Hospice before and as a company are in a position where we felt now was the time to give something back to the community.

“It was an obvious choice to join the 500 club and I’d encourage others to do the same if they can.”

* For more details on joining the 500 Club visit

Email queries to

New member in the Hospice @Home team

Mum Cheryl McDonald is one of the newest recruits at East Cheshire Hospice.

As a part-time health care assistant, she visits patients in their own homes as part of the Hospice @Home unit.

Cheryl has vast experience, having spent her entire career caring for people of all ages.

Yet she admits joining the Hospice in May was one of her best moves.

Cheryl said: “I’m still finding my feet, but already realise what a lovely place it is to work. I’d recommend it.

Health care assistant Cheryl McDonald with four-year-old son Nate.

“It’s a nice environment and as you walk down the corridors everyone is so friendly and everywhere so clean.”

Cheryl is still part of the bank team at Macclesfield and District General Hospital where she spent seven years, including spells in the same day emergency care unit and A and E.

She said: “I’m trained to take bloods so it keeps those skills. I work there a few hours each month. You have to do your bit to support the NHS don’t you?

“There are different pressures in a hospital where you can look after between 40 to 50 patients, whereas Hospice @Home means visiting one patient at a time.

“You concentrate on them and get to know the family and more about the patient.

“It’s so rewarding. You’re helping the person and their family and sometimes you’re the only person a patient may see in a day.

“You can signpost them to where they may need further help. It’s nice to know you can help those choosing to die at home.

“Not everyone wants to die in hospital, while the Hospice is also available if they choose to become an inpatient.”

Cheryl spent 10 years helping disabled children as Cheshire East co-ordinator at Carers Trust4all, having trained as a nursery nurse after leaving school.

Cheryl said: “Hospitals can be clinical and if someone passes away with a cardiac arrest you haven’t got to know that patient. Then it’s on to the next patient and that’s how it works.

“With Hospice @Home you’re able to build up a rapport, sitting with a patient and holding their hand and providing the comfort they need.

“There’s no pressure and you can sit with them for an hour if they wish. Nothing’s rushed.

“At hospital, we’ve sat with patients in their final hours too. They’re comfortable and no one is ever left alone.”

* To apply for a staff nurse vacancy visit

Australian actors took to the stage

Theatregoers rallied round to support a special musical staged by an Australian amateur theatre group.

Their one-off performance of The Pirate Code at MADS Theatre in Macclesfield raised £800 for East Cheshire Hospice.

It was part of a week-long nationwide tour by Nuworks, a group of  Melbourne-based actors who financed the trip themselves.

Their hosts were Macclesfield Amateur Dramatic Society which underwrote the show as part of its 75th anniversary celebrations.

MADS management member John Chandler said: “We had a great night and want to thank everyone for coming along to support us.

“A special thanks must go to our Australian visitors for choosing Macclesfield as one of four touring venues.

“The cast joined MADS members in our bar afterwards to exchange stories about on-stage experiences, before our guests went to the Lake District the following day for their last performance before returning to Australia.

“I’m sure they took home lots of happy memories of their visit here and importantly we raised funds for a great charity.

John Chandler from MADS Theatre. 

“MADS have always been great supporters of the Hospice and it was Nuworks’ idea to donate profits from this event to such a wonderful local cause.”

* The next MADS production is The Cats Mother by Erica Murray, a black comedy which runs from September 11-16.